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Remembering former Innu Grand Chief Joseph Riche

new dawn_01.PNG Joseph Riche (left) Holding up “The New Dawn Agreement” The loss of Joseph Riche brings great sadness to many in Labrador’s Innu Nation. Wednesday night, the RCMP and ground search and rescue were called to the Park Lake Lodge….about 80 kilometres southeast of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Riche was hunting there with three other people. He was alone in a canoe when it tipped, sending him into the water. The Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre was called….a cormorant was flown in from Gander….but the crew wasn’t able to find him. The search continued yesterday….and ended with the discovery of his body. In the Innu community Riche was a centrepiece. He played a major role in the passing of the New Dawn Agreement — the historic land claim that cleared the way for Muskrat Falls…. established Innu hunting rights in large parts of Labrador…. and brought compensation for lands flooded by the Upper Churchill hydro dam. In the lead-up to the signing Riche spoke passionately in favour of the deal. Here he is speaking two days before the landmark vote in June 2011…. which he called the most important decision in the history of the Innu people.

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